Murchison Falls National Park is the largest protected area in Uganda and among the most visited national park for wildlife safari, holidays and tours. The park forms apart of Bugungu and Karuma wildlife reserves. Murchison falls coined its name after the mighty waterfalls which are previously known as Kabalega falls.
Murchison Falls National Park is endowed with a number of attractions including over 76 mammal species with four members of the big five ie lion, leopards, elephants and Buffaloes. Expect to encounter other species on your safari such as bushbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, hyenas, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs and giraffes
Along the shores of river Nile and within the waters you will see a number of bird species, hippopotamus and crocodiles. Murchison falls national park is also a habitant to a number of primates such as baboons and several monkey species.
Over 450 recorded bird species including the rare shoebill stork are recorded in Murchison falls. The park is also home to 23 Albertine rift endemics due to the fact that it is located in the western arm of the great east African rift valley. Our bird watching safaris and tours to Murchison falls national park introduces you to spot several birds with a help of our professional guide
The highlight of your tour in Murchison falls National Park is visiting the “Murchison Falls” a point along the Nile, within the park where river Nile forces its way through a narrow gorge 8 meters wide. The launch trip up stream is very interesting and offers magnificent views of the falls and several wildlife species found along the shores including Buffaloes, Hippos, Crocodiles, waterbucks and birds. Check out our top tours to Murchison falls national park; 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari and 10 Days Uganda Gorilla and Wildlife Tour
The park is destined in the northwestern part of Uganda and the biggest national park in the country; covering a total area of 3,840 sq km. The park has a number of attractions and it is the most popular national park in Uganda with different vegetations ranging from savannah plains, savannah woodlands, swamps to forested areas hence being a habitat to various species of mammals, birds, primates and reptiles.
Visitors interested in animal viewing are advised to book a safari to Murchison falls national park to see mammals such as like lions, leopards, giraffes, waterbucks, elephants, Jackson’s hartebeest, buffaloes, warthogs, Uganda kob among others can be spotted. Other activities that can be done in the park include; boat cruise along the Nile to the mighty waterfalls, birding, chimp tracking in Budongo forest and hiking to the top of the water falls.
Are you planning to visit Murchison falls national park for a safari? You must know the best time suitable for travelling to the park for a tour due to varying seasons in Uganda.
Uganda is crossed by the equator and endowed with favorable climatic conditions for safari activities hence a reason why many opt to visit the country for summer holidays. The country is blessed with two seasons ie wet and dry seasons. Each season attracts a number of activities for holiday makers hence a reason why tourists visit Uganda for a safari in specific however, most travelers seeking for mountain gorilla trekking and wildlife encounter prefer visiting the country during dry season seasons and bird watching tourists prefer the wet season.
This is also known as the peak season and it happens during months of December to February and from June to September. During this period, we receive quite a big number of visitors to Murchison falls for a safari and other national parks in Uganda. The prices for accommodation including budget properties tend to be higher in most travel destinations during this period. Therefore, we advise visitors who want to stay in luxury accommodation and lodges during peak season to book their safari at least 6 months in advance to secure their accommodation as early as possible.
Luxury lodges in Murchison falls national park include Paraa safari lodge, Bakers Lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Kabalega wilderness Camp, Nile Safari resort while the mid-range lodges are Pakuba safari lodge, Sambiya river lodge, Fort Murchison Lodge, Budongo Ecolodge, Murchison River lodge and budget lodges are Hornbill Bush lodge, Heritage Lodge among others
Visitors planning for their journey to Murchison falls national park should carry mosquito repellants since during this period the mosquitoes are very active. However, all the safari lodges we work with have mosquito nets and you are advised to sleep under a net.
During the dry season, seasonal waterholes tend to be dry and animals can easily be seen at the major water sources like at the river banks of the Nile. The grass is golden and short making it easy to spot animals from a distance
The tracks in Murchison falls national park are always dry, making it easier for the safari vehicles to reach any part of the park during most activities
This is also regarded as low season and several parks receive limited numbers of visitors. It happens in the months of march to May and October to November.
Uganda receives a lot of rainfall during this period and the vegetation in the park grow taller making it difficult to spot animals in far distances since pools of water within the park are filled with water and animals are able to find water and pasture anywhere hence being hard to easily spot the animals roaming around the park and also won’t be common on main water bodies.
During this period, the tracks in Murchison falls national park tend to be slippery and at times vehicles get stuck. However, some travelers enjoy the safari experience while driving through the slippery roads!
During this period, safari lodges and camps reduce their prices due to low demand for accommodation and other services.
Generally, if you choose to have your safari in Murchison falls during his period, expect to meet few tourists hence being the best time for solitude travelers.
The volume of waters of the Nile tend to increase and Murchison falls are stronger than during dry seasons. Visitors watch waters of the longest river violently force through the narrow gorge.
This is the best time for bird watching safari and tours in Murchison falls national park since there is always plenty of food and it is always a breeding season to may bird species. During this period; the migratory birds arrive at the park hence very many bird species are spotted along the shores and swamps of River Nile and all over in the plains and forests.
Therefore; after looking at both seasons, Murchison falls national park can be visited throughout the year for a safari basing on the visitors’ travel preferences.
Game drives can either be done in morning and evening in Murchison Falls around Buligi game tracks in the Northern bank. You will drive through the savannah grasslands, woodland, acacia and riverine vegetation to view different animals such as elephant, lion, herds of buffaloes, jackals, Uganda kob among others.
In most cases visitors who do evening game drives normally spot leopards at dusk. Tourists who prefer self-drive are advised to book a game ranger to direct and identify hideouts for different animals.
For the bird watchers, you are advised to combine both game drives and boat cruise at the bottom of the falls during your safari in Murchison falls to spot different birdlife including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The Launch cruise at the Nile Lake Albert Delta gives you an opportunity to see the rear shoe bill. Forest walks are also very rewarding to the bird watchers.
Experience the culture and traditions of the local luos. Relax in the evening as you watch the dancers of Mubako perform their traditional music, dance and drama. The Boomu women’s group offer excellent accommodation to visitors, craft souvenirs and community tours to explore the Luo traditions, see the traditional thatched huts where the local gather to escape the midday sun under the shade of a large tree.
Most lodges in Murchison falls make arrangements with several local cultural groups to entertain the visitors during their safari accompanied with sounds of local instruments such as Adungu.
Money generated from this activity goes directly to the local communities and helps them to meet their bills like paying fees for their children among others.
Nature walks in in this park are done in the vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls and the surrounding Conservation Area. Walking through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provides magnificent sights and sounds of the wild. You will spot a number of primates and bird species. Visitors who are physically fit may take a hike to the top of the falls. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to climb to the top.
Hot air balloon safari in Murchison falls national park is one of the most interesting, exciting and memorable activity to do on your safari to the park. Expect see the magnificent land scape of the rolling savanna vegetation and herds of animals. The experience lasts for one hour and maximum capacity is always 8 pax.
Take a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls to encounter aquatic animals such as huge hippo pods, crocodiles, bathing buffaloes and bird species such as Goliath Heron, Grey crowned Crane and the rare Shoe bill Stock on the North bank on the way to the mighty Waterfalls. The trip normally starts at 9.00am and 2.00pm and takes 3hrs.
Sport fishing in Murchison falls national park is done at the banks of the Nile below Murchison falls within the strong currents and highly oxygenated water. The park offers world class fishing trips and tours to catch Nile perch and a number of catfish.
Murchison falls national park is the largest park in Uganda with over 76 mammal species and 450 recorded bird species in the park; located in the northwest of Kampala city. The park is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body mandated to conserve its all the national parks and reserves for future generation.
Murchison falls national park is situated in the current districts of Bulisa, Kiryandongo, and Nwoya covering an area of 3840sq.km hence being the largest game park in Uganda and one of the prime tourist destinations for safari activities in Uganda.
Murchison falls national park is can be accessed through various routes using several gates that is to say the southern gate of Paraa or the northern gate at Murchison falls national park.
Visitors may get to Murchison falls national park either by road using private and public means or charter flights from Entebbe international airport to several airfields of Pakuba airfield, Chobe airfield and Bugungu airfield.
The distance from Entebbe to Murchison falls national park is approximately 305km which is about 5 hours’ drive through the Northern gates of Chobe gate, Wankar gate and Tangi gate and the Southern gates of Kichumbanyobo gate and Bugungu gate
Kichumbanyobo Gate- Visitors can access paraa using this gate if driving from masindi town. The distance from Masindi town to this gate is about 85Km, crossing through the Kaniyo Pabidi forest to Paara
Bugungu Gate – Accessing this gate from Masindi is about 135Km, passing through the Budongo forest which is home to a number chimpanzees and many other primates. This is a very interesting route and takes you to the rift valley escarpment with impressive views of the Albert mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
If you wish to access the park from the north, you may use Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates in the north of the Nile. These are reached using Kampala-Pakwach highway. The journey is approximately 260km from Kampala. These gates are also convenient for guests travelling to/from Gulu town and Kidepo Valley National Park.
After getting to know the climatic conditions of Murchison falls national park at a travel destination in Uganda, you need to prepare yourself for a holiday by knowing what you should park for your adventure tour and safari. Below is a list of things to carry during your safari.
This is one of the items you must carry when traveling to Murchison falls national park for a safari. It is a travel document that you must present at all the entry points of the park and also entering the country at the airport
Visitors should have a certificate or card to show that they were immunized against yellow fever.
Always confirm your air ticket early enough to avoid any interferences such as abrupt increase in the fares and lose of seats. When you attain it, keep it safe
Apply for a Uganda tourist VISA before your travel using an online application form or you may obtain it on arrival to Entebbe international airport nor any land boarder.
You will not be allowed to enter Uganda without a Visa. Visitors who wish to combine their safari with either Rwanda or Kenya may apply for an East Africa VISA to travel to all the countries.
Get your travel and health insurance cover if you are planning for a safari to Murchison falls national park or any other destination in Uganda.
Take some passport size photos and carry some when planning to travel to Uganda for a safari. Some programs can be abrupt and you may need some for a certain purpose.
Traveling involves covering long distances while trying to connect to different destinations. Therefore; we advise visitors to carry pain killers, plasters, bandages, anti-diarrhea medicine, and other essential medicine.
Uganda since we are in a malaria zone; seek advice from your physician as you plan for a safari to Murchison falls and carry some anti-malarial tablets, insect repellant
Avoid carrying a lot of money in cash but have what you are going to use while on your safari. Money can be used to buy souvenirs, buy beverages and may be tipping different service providers. Also inform your bank that you are traveling to a foreign destination to help you track your expenditures
You may need binoculars on your safari to Murchison falls national park for most activities such as bird watching, game drive and boat cruise to spot far away animal species and birds.
Oh yes! This is important for photography and videography. Make sure you have a good camera, batteries, charger and all accessories.
Visitors should carry simple necessities to be used on their safari to Murchison falls eg camera, sun cream, power bank among others
Carry clothes that you’ll be comfortable in but descent to avoid attracting attention from the local communities. You may pack a scarf, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts and sweaters to wear during evening hours, caps, night dress among others. Caution; avoid putting on bright colored clothes on a safari since bright colors attract animals hence you may end up being attacked. More so bright colors attract tsetse flies, therefore, avoid them if possible.
You need to carry strong water proof hiking shoes, sandals and strong boots for those planning to do gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking experiences in Bwindi and Kibale forest national parks
Pack your deodorants, toothbrush, cleansers, shampoo, lotion among other toiletries.
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